Red Force crush Scorpions to register first win of disappointing campaign
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batsman and Captain Darren Bravo (left) plays a defensive shot as Leeward Islands Hurricanes wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton looks on during the regional four-day match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday, February 11, 2023.(Photo: Observer file)

TAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC) — Trinidad and Tobago Red Force clinched their only victory of the West Indies Championship when they whipped bottom-of-the-table Jamaica Scorpions by nine wickets inside three days here Friday.

Playing at the Brian Lara stadium in their final match of an otherwise disappointing season, Red Force bowled out Scorpions for 275 in their second innings before easily overhauling the 99 runs required for victory.

Opener Vikash Mohan, in his third first class match after making his debut earlier in the campaign, steered the hosts over the line with an unbeaten 44.

He put on 74 for the first wicket with Kamil Pooran who made 39, ensuring Red Force encountered no hiccups en route to the uncomplicated target.

The 28-year-old right-hander was positive in his approach to the chase, lashing five fours and a couple of sixes in a 66-ball knock.

Once Pooran departed after facing 70 balls and striking half-dozen fours, Captain Darren Bravo arrived to belt two fours and a six in an unbeaten 14 to bring a swift end to the contest.

Earlier, Scorpions managed to add only 76 to their overnight 199 for five before being bowled out in their second innings on the stroke of lunch.

Aldaine Thomas, on seven at the start and Abhijai Mansingh, on 10, stretched their overnight sixth-wicket stand to 61, threatening to frustrate the hosts' bid for a quick victory.

Thomas played freely, hitting 39 from 58 deliveries with half-dozen fours and a six, while Mansingh struck 32 from 54 balls with four fours.

Test speedster Shannon Gabriel (2-52) got the breakthrough when he bowled both batsmen in successive overs as Scorpions lost their last five wickets for only 23 runs.

Leg-spinner Imran Khan added a further three wickets to his tally to finish with four for 47.

Meanwhile, both Windward Islands Volcanoes and Leeward Islands Hurricanes were eyeing victory after dominating the third day of their final-round encounters on Friday.

At Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Volcanoes seized control after setting reigning champions Barbados Pride a victory target of 236 and then reducing them to 28 for three at the close.

And at the Guyana National Stadium, Hurricanes were poised to inflict leaders Guyana Harpy Eagles with their first defeat of the season and possibly endanger their title quest, after finishing the day on 81 for one in pursuit of 143.

The results from both games will have a massive impact on the destination of the title, as Volcanoes entered the final round behind Harpy Eagles by 10.2 points.

Resuming the morning precariously perched on 14 for four in their second innings — a lead of only 24 runs — Volcanoes were rescued by former Test batsman Sunil Ambris who top scored with an invaluable 79 as they reached 225 all out.

Yet to score at the start the right-hander held the innings together in a knock that required 141 balls and nearly 3¾ hours, and included nine fours and a six.

He anchored two significant half-century stands — a 77-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Kavem Hodge who made 27 and then a 69-run, sixth-wicket partnership with wicketkeeper Tevyn Walcott who struck 35.

Volcanoes lost only one wicket in the morning session — that of Hodge who resumed the morning on four — the right-hander bowled by fast bowler Jair McCallister (2-21).

Ambris, unbeaten on 52 at the interval with Volcanoes on 102 for five, was one of two wickets to fall in the second session, lbw to West Indies fast bowling prospect Akeem Jordan (2-59) at 172 for seven.

Ryan John then propped up the lower order, belting an unbeaten 37 from 67 deliveries with four fours and a six.

Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican added another two wickets to his haul to end with four for 58.

Faced with a tricky chase, Pride's top order fell apart quickly as Zachary McCaskie (0), first-innings century-maker Shayne Moseley (10), and rookie Rashawn Worrell (8) all perished cheaply.

Harpy Eagles faced a tall order at the start on 48 for one and needed half-centuries from Kemol Savory (66 not out) and tail-ender Veerasammy Permaul (65) in order to get up to 267 all out in their second innings.

Test batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul failed to add to his overnight 20 when he was lbw to off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall (4-58) in the day's second over with only two runs added to the total, his demise leading to a collapse which saw four wickets tumble for 49 runs.


RED FORCE 1st Innings 302

SCORPIONS 1st Innings 125

SCORPIONS 2nd Innings (following on)

(overnight 199 for five)

L Lugg c wkp sub (D Williams) b Phillip 66

T Gilzene lbw b A Phillip 2

*J Blackwood c wkp sub (D Williams) b Charles 68

C Brown c Pooran b Imran Khan 16

B Barnes c Webster b Charles 14

A Mansingh b Gabriel 32

+A Thomas b Gabriel 39

J Royal st sub (D Williams) b Imran Khan 4D Green not out 7

O Shields c sub (K Pierre) b Imran Khan 7

M Mindley lbw b Imran Khan 0

Extras (b6, lb14) 20

TOTAL (all out, 70.5) 275

Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-112, 3-162, 4-172, 5-191, 6-252, 7-257, 8-257, 9-275, 10-275

Bowling: Gabriel 12-3-52-2, Phillip 12-2-46-2, Webster 2-0-11-0, Bravo 4-1-17-0, Charles 20-4-75-2, Imran Khan 17.5-3-47-4, Hinds 3-1-7-0.

RED FORCE 2nd Innings (Target: 99 runs)

V Mohan not out 44

K Pooran b J Blackwood 39

*D Bravo not out 14

Extras (b1, lb4) 5

TOTAL (1 wkt, 24,2 overs) 102

Fall of wicket: 1-74

Bowling: Mindley 3-1-9-0, Royal 4-0-17-0, Shields 5-0-13-0, Green 3-0-8-0, Mansingh 6.2-2-34-0, Blackwood 3-1-16-1

Result: Red Force won by nine wickets.

Toss: Red Force

Umpires: L Reifer, G Brathwaite

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